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The HPV virus can cause neck and head cancer. “We should do everything to vaccinate everyone.”

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In Poland, more and more cases of neck and head cancer are reported. Patients often present when the disease is in an advanced stage. The very common HPV virus causes disease. How can you help yourself? Sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing problems, nasal congestion, ear pain – which last several weeks or longer – should prompt us to perform additional tests. You can get vaccinated against the virus, but the vaccine will not remove the existing infection.

If it weren't for the barely visible scar on her neck, it would be hard to guess that Mrs. Joanna Taylor had undergone treatment for tonsil cancer. The cancer was caused by the HPV virus and was a huge surprise for the patient. – When I turned to the Internet, the main reasons were drinking, smoking and casual sex with multiple partners. I found that I had been with just one guy my entire life, my husband. I don't drink, I don't smoke – explains Joanna Taylor.

Over the last 14 years, the number of head and neck cancers in Poland has increased by over 1/5. Last year, 13,000 Poles fell ill. Younger and younger people are suffering from the disease: people in their 30s and 40s. They are also dying younger and younger. Unfortunately, Poland ranks second in Europe when it comes to the mortality rate of this type of cancer.

– Over the last 30 years, we have lost 50 percent of our diagnosed patients, and yet a lot of good things have happened in medicine over the last 30 years. We have new technologies. We have new opportunities – points out Professor Wojciech Golusiński, head of the Head, Neck and Laryngological Oncology Clinic of the Wielkopolska Oncology Center.

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Two viruses are responsible for the increase in cases

New technologies do not help because patients with head and neck cancer seek help already in advanced stages of the disease. It is worth knowing that at the moment the increase in disease incidence is caused not by alcohol or cigarettes, but by these two viruses: HPV and Epstein-Barr. They circulate throughout our body and at some point they begin to be incorporated into the surface of the throat, nasopharynx or larynx.

– To put it simply, human-human contact, kissing or oral-genital intercourse, when we talk about sexual intercourse, lead to the fact that we are infected with highly oncogenic types of the HPV virus – says Professor Maciej Socha, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the Hospital. Saint Adalbert in Gdańsk.

SEE ALSO: HPV vaccine. Experts: protects against cancer, but Poles do not use it

An expert on “cancers that are becoming more and more common.” “We really have a very simple way to fight this.”TVN24

First of all, it's worth observing yourself. Symptoms of infection such as sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing problems, nasal congestion, earache – which last several weeks or longer – should prompt us to perform additional tests. Secondly, it is worth getting vaccinated against HPV. – We should do everything to vaccinate everyone – emphasizes Professor Maciej Socha. The HPV virus also causes cervical cancer.

Main photo source: Fakty TVN



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